An ADCC Featured Story

Sculpting the Men of Proud FM

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We asked Saatchi & Saatchi’s Matt Antonello and Joel Arbez along with illustrator Kira Shaimanova and photographer Philip Rostron to take us through the process of their award winning Proud FM print campaign.

M&J:  This was definitely an idea that came to us after working through a bunch of options. It became a clear favourite immediately. People seemed to identify with songs and lyrics that were open to interpretation. In fact, almost everyone seemed to have an example to throw in the mix.

Kira:  The initial concept of this project was appealing to me straight from the beginning simple because it was humorous and not super restrictive creatively.

Exploring the Men

M&J:  At first we thought CG would be the way to go. Then we saw Kira’s work and found that it had just the right amount of realism. It also had a bit of edge and added texture that CG just can’t emulate. In the end, everything was made by hand.

Kira:  Joel had a very clear vision of how he wanted things to look and we worked together to evolve that vision and make it something great. We bounced back a lot of the ideas from the sketching phase and it all moved fairly quickly into materializing the final.

Sculpting the Men

Kira:  I sculpted all the characters individually at my studio, since it’s a lot of meticulous work and I need focus in order to get all the details completed on time.

M&J:  Every detail was laboured over from the concept itself to the length of the knight’s hair.

Kira:  Any props or backgrounds needed for the pieces were also sculpted, glued, and painted and put together the day of the photo shoot.

Shooting The Men

Philip:  Working on the photographs of Kira’s sculptures was a very collaborative process. Kira, Joel and Matt all working on set. Early on it was decided with the creative team to create as much in camera as possible. It was felt that real sets, rather than photoshopped assemblies, would best compliment her sculptures and add to the fantasy land.

Kira:  At the photography studio, we had a large table space to lay everything out. We had props on the foreground, middle ground and background and tweaked items until it all fell into place. Not a single detail was left overlooked, not a single flower prop.

Philip:  The starting point for each image was to solidly rig the sculpture and then explore different POV until we found the sweet spot. Locking this off we then built the backgrounds and added props to camera, creating a real sense of depth to to our fantasy lands and then enhancing this with dramatic lighting.

Shooting The Men

Kira: In order to create some perspective and match the finalized sketches, the distance between the character dolls and background props was really important.

Philip: Some of the signage was shot separately, due to scale, and some type added later. Post production, led by Mike and the Instil team, was mostly about refining colour and contrast and removing any of the elaborate rigging we could not hide.

Loving The Men

Kira: A really collaborative team makes all the difference, and that’s not always the case with agency commission. I honestly just had fun with it and it was a great experience for me working with Saatchi & Saatchi.

Philip: Working on the photographs of Kira’s sculptures was a very collaborative process. Altogether a great team project and fun to have been part of.

Kira: For us, this was the classic example of finessing an idea until it couldn’t be finessed anymore… And though it starts to feel absurd during the process, we feel like the results ended up justifying everyone’s hard work and dedication.

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